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Train-to-NZEB: The Building Knowledge Hubs

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - Train-to-NZEB (Train-to-NZEB: The Building Knowledge Hubs)

Reporting period: 2016-12-01 to 2018-11-30

The “Train-to-NZEB: The Building Knowledge Hubs (BKH)” project aims to support and provide up-to-date training equipment for a set of training and consultation centers with the goal to improve the knowledge and skills in the construction sector and to deliver practical training courses, demonstrations and comprehensive consulting services for design and construction of Nearly Zero-Energy Buildings (NZEB). The new centers form an international network, providing opportunities for training courses on the curricula developed under the European BUILD UP Skills initiative and by project partners, as well as continuous opportunities for exchange, updating and improving of the existing training programmes. The project has reached a significant number of construction professionals in Central and Eastern Europe who will contribute to the execution of the European and national goals in the area of climate and energy through securing of quality and sustainability in the implementation of the EPBD and EED requirements related to the building sector.
Train-to-NZEB effectively transfers the knowledge and experience of leading research and training institutions from Germany (Passive House Institute) and Ireland (Passive House Academy/MosArt and Limerick Institute of Technology) to 5 European countries – Bulgaria, Romania, the Czech Republic, Turkey and Ukraine, targeting design and equipment of 4 fully active training centers in Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey and the Czech Republic and 1 pilot center in Ukraine. Combined with the provision of consulting services based on the "One-stop shop" principle, is expected to increase the interest and capacity for design and construction of NZEBs supported by RES in the focus countries and to stimulate the market demand for such solutions for both new buildings and building renovations.
The project has successfully achieved the already ambitious target by delivering:
- a total of 7 active training centers established in the 5 involved countries,
- 240 trainers, 2437 construction workers, 614 designers and 894 non-specialists passing successfully through our courses,
- a new project started with 4 new training centers joining the network,
- hundreds of (award-winning) events organized and attended,
- hundreds of commercial companies and external stakeholders supporting the centers as a result of the active communication campaign.
- excellent quality of our training courses – proven by building experts coming back to the BKHs and asking for more.
The project activities have started back in 2015 with preparation of all necessary prerequisites as training programmes, aids and teams of trained trainers. Nowadays, training programmes for a number of courses targeted to different educational levels and professional disciplines are available and in exploitation, covering the selected target groups in each country. A definite highlight of the project are the Terms of Reference for the setting up and equipment of the BKHs, which have been used not only to establish the 7 training centers in the project, but also 5 new centers in Ireland, Italy, Croatia, Greece and Bulgaria supported by private investments and the subsequent Fit-to-NZEB project. Teams of trained trainers are also available for each BKH, undergoing an international course in Dublin and intensive dedicated local courses. The pilot training activities started in 2016, when the BKHs were opened in all 5 participating countries - in many cases in partnership with leading local training and education providers.
BKH-Bulgaria is set up in the premises of the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy in Sofia – the most renowned educational institution in this area. A highlight of this cooperation is the start of a joint Masters programme on energy efficiency in buildings and a number of training courses organized jointly with the Bulgarian Construction Chamber.
BKH-Romania is set up in the facilities of URBAN-INCERC, the national authority responsible for sustainable construction and urban development. The Romanian team has already established a number of partnerships with other national and local authorities, universities, business actors and VET providers. A second center was set up in Brasov, especially successful for RES-related qualification courses, officially recognized by the Romanian national educational system.
BKH-Czech Republic, situated in the center of Prague, is set up in cooperation with the Architectural and Building Foundation (ABF), the oldest and most established training provider for both architects and construction workers. Three Train-to-nZEB courses were approved for accreditation in the Czech Republic by the Czech Chamber of Chartered Engineers and Technicians.
BKH-Turkey is situated in EGE University, engaging the strong academic community in Izmir but also transferring knowledge to other cities and universities. The team has succeeded to attract a number of supporters from the business sector as well as the local professional associations. The interest was becoming so strong that a new training center had to be opened in Balikesir university, targeting better outreach to the still hardly accessible target group of blue-collar workers.
BKH-Ukraine is a definite highlight of the project, as despite limited financing for equipment, the partnership with the Kyiv National University of Construction and Architecture (KNUCA) and nearly 30 local companies has enabled the establishment of a fully operational and highly successful BKH. The training courses in Ukraine are running successfully with a notable accent on certification of building energy auditors.
A major highlight of the project has proven to be the streamlined communication campaign, involving a wide selection of traditional and web-based communication channels tailored to the needs of the target groups and active engagement of all project partners, which has not only enabled the achievement of project targets but has also set up a solid basis for sustainable continuation of the activities of the BKHs beyond project's duration.
With activities located in Eastern and Central Europe, Train-to-NZEB has overcome a number of market barriers, which were clearly outlined in the dedicated marketing survey conducted in the spring of 2016. NZEB issues are still largely neglected within the professional community, the available training programmes are targeted to the traditional construction skills and there is lack of understanding of the general change in the approach and quality of the design and construction works necessary to execute the new requirements. However, the project has achieved in conducting a very intensive communication campaign, through which it has established a broad network of partnerships in the professional and VET circles, attracting 10 associated VET providers through Memoranda of Understanding, and local business actors (more than 50) supporting the training activities. At the end of the project, it can be confidently stated that it has achieved tangible impact on all major action zones - continuing the legacy of the BUILD UP Skills initiative by implementing innovative NZEB-related large-scale training schemes, upskilling a significant number of construction workers and specialists, gathering a wide circle of stakeholders from the business, academic and public sectors around a common goal, and most notably - stimulating the market demand for quality NZEBs.
Train-the-trainer course in Sofia, Bulgaria, November 2017
Opening of Ukrainian BKH, November 2016
National T2nZEB conference in Sofia, Bulgaria
Train-the-trainer course in Dublin, December 2015
Opening of Ukrainian BKH, November 2016
National T2nZEB conference in Sofia, Bulgaria
National meeting in Balikesir University, April12, 2018
Trainings in Ege BKH
International PH Conference, Darmstadt, April 2016
Train-the-trainer course in Ostrava, Czech Republic
Trainings in Ege BKH
Training in Izmir, Turkey
Trainings in Ege BKH
First national T2nZEB workshop in Bucharest, Romania